The Bucks trade Middleton to the Nets
The Brooklyn Nets could decide to take things slow, trading their veterans for younger assets and trying to put together the best possible core for years to come. Given that they owe their next four first-round picks, however, much more likely is Door No. 2, where they try to get better quickly.
If so, trying to add a player like Khris Middleton makes a lot of sense. He can be an offensive co-star with Mikal Bridges, and together they can lock down the two and the three between Spencer Dinwiddie at point guard and Cameron Johnson and Nic Claxton at the big positions.
The problem for Brooklyn is that they don’t have appreciable cap space. So where is their leverage to get the Bucks to send Middleton? It’s in the fact that Middleton could walk to another team with cap space, but in choosing the Nets, the Bucks get an impressive haul back.
Dorian Finney-Smith can be the two-way forward that Jae Crowder simply wasn’t, starting at the three and sliding to the four in small lineups. He can defend anyone but centers and the fastest of guards, which frees Giannis Antetokounmpo up to rove. Joe Harris might be washed, but together he and Patty Mills offer a lot of shooting, and then they’re off the books next summer before the second tax apron hammer comes down. Jevon Carter would have to accept this player option for this deal to go down.